Micheal Azira came off the bench for the Ugandan national team to help the Cranes earn a 1-0 victory over Congo in the third round of CAF qualification on Saturday. Azira was a sub for injured midfielder Tonny Mawejje.
The Cranes got their only goal in the 18th minute from Farouk Miya, of the Belgian Pro League’s Standard Liege. The game was played at Nelson Mandela Stadium in the capital city of Kampala.
In a friendly earlier in the week, Azira was an unused subbed in Uganda’s 2-0 loss to Zambia .
Five teams from the Confederation of African Football get spots at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Twenty teams have made it through to CAF’s third round of qualifying, and are divided into five groups, playing six matches from now until November of 2017. Only one team in each group goes through.
Uganda shares a group with Congo, Egypt, and Ghana. While the Cranes and Congo have never before qualified for a World Cup final, Egypt has qualified twice, while Ghana has qualified three times in it’s nation’s history.
After Friday’s training session, Ugandan manager Milutin Sredejovic said of Micheal, “It is great to have Azira around. He is fit which is good news but it is to early to judge him because he is coming from a good play ground to completely poor surface facility.”
Azira was called into the national team once before, in 2014, but Saturday’s match marks the first minutes he has played for Uganda.